Complex criteria for a Collection Project

I’m thinking about creating a collection project which will bring together observations of taxa presently in a number of different genera which, in all likelihood, deserve to be combined into one genus. These are just a small handful of taxa that have been lumped into much larger genera (more than one). Listing the various species-level taxa is the easy part for the design of the collection. The hard part is making sure the criteria bring in observations which are either placed at genus level or higher, or have disagreements on species level IDs (e.g. stuck at genus level–where I don’t want to collect the whole genus).

I also want to add a criterion for matching a certain Observation Field that I will create which will identify certain specific observations as members of the collection class, regardless of their present community taxon.

So two questions:

  1. As admin for a project, can I manually add observations ad hoc which I want to include in the collection irrespective of the current community taxon?

  2. Can a collection project have a hybrid set of criteria, some of which are taxon based and one or more others based on Observation Fields? I would want to set this up with a Boolean “OR” relationship, not “AND”.

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The answer to your first question is no. Collection projects are essentially saved searches, so there isn’t an option to manually add. If you want to do this, you need to use a traditional project.

Assuming I understand your second question correctly, the answer is also no. You can’t enter logical statements as search parameters. I suppose it might be possible to get around this creatively in some situation (ie, if you can find a parameter that “does the work” for you on it’s own, like an annotation that also excludes/includes something by its nature).

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(since this doesn’t relate to curation I moved it to General)

OK, understood. Since the taxonomic requirements of the collection I want to create would be quite complex, a simple taxon list will probably not suit my needs. On the other hand, I’m not seeing Observation Fields available as selection criteria for a collection of my design. Am I stymied then?

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in a collection project, you should be able to accomplish this by using both a taxon filter for a particular taxon and taxon exclusion filters for all the immediate children taxa.

there is a feature request to add this functionality, but the feature currently doesn’t exist.

you could add these to a traditional project and then combine the traditional project with the collection project under an umbrella project. this would effectively give you your OR condition.

i’m not sure how many observations you would want to add to such a traditional project. i assume since you’d have to add the observation fields manually probably, then you could also add them to the project at the same time. but if for some reason there are too many to add manually, it would also be possible to add observations to a project (and add observation fields, too) via the API, given a list of observation ids.


Well, now I’m getting frustrated by the convoluted requirements for what I want to collect. By about 9 p.m. this evening, I had given up on creating any kind of project to collect the observations I’m interested in, and was going to revert to using Observation Fields. I have only used them sparingly in the past so I’m a little clumsy with them. So here is what I’m attempting:

I am using the pre-existing Observation Field “Species group”. I did a test on a few observations to add the value “Maepha” (the genus of interest to me) in that field.

Now here’s where I’m failing: I can’t remember how to search a given set of observations (e.g. all the Lithosiini moths) for those that have the desired value of “Maepha” in the Observation Field “Species group”. How do I do that?

also see:


I just keep forgetting to right-click on a field! So simple.

FWIW you shouldn’t have to right-click, just clicking on the field should bring up the options.

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